Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Vegas Baby!!! December 2015

All Pictures are at the bottom!
You know the saying Kill two birds with one stone, how about three birds with one stone.

1) Achieve the highest status on American Airlines
2) Refill my travel kitty (win some money playing poker)
3) Hang with the Donald.

As you know whenever I fly I try to pay the least amount for my ticket and get the best available seat. One of the ways I archive this is by keeping my status high on several different airlines. There are all kinds of tricks to accomplish this. I do not plan to disclose these tricks as that would make it harder for me to make status. The straight forward way to get status, is to fly and fly a lot.

One Airline that I fly often along with it's partners is American Airlines. I have been flying with them since August 11th, 1987 at least that is what my account says. Since that time I have flown 1,170,188 miles. There have been 10,358 days since August 11th, 1987. What this means is in the last 28 plus years I have flown about 113 miles a day, every day and that is just this one airline. Another way you can look at it is I have flown about 42,000 miles a year every year for the last 28 years on this one airline. Better yet, at the equator the earth is just under 25,000 miles around. In the last 28 years I have flown the equivalent of 47 times around the world.

Back to the birds and the stone. I needed a few thousand miles by the end of the year to keep my high
status and assure I fly first class on the cheap economy tickets I buy. I found out I could fly to Las Vegas for $200.00 round trip which would give me 5,000 base miles.

Just to clarify the 1,170,188 are actual miles flown, I have actual earned 2,629,167 miles during that
same 28 years, but many of those miles were bonus miles.

The first bird killed, archived my status on American Airlines!

What to do in Vegas, as I would only be on the ground for 36 hours I felt it would be a good opportunity to refill my travel kitty with some poker winnings. Playing poker in Vegas is like taking candy from a baby. Most of the players are tourist and they are simply playing for entertainment and not for a living. The key is finding the right table. Remember when you play poker you are not playing against the casino you are playing against the other players at your table. You do not need to be a good player, just better than the players at your table.

Second bird killed, won enough money for a few more years of traveling!

Why travel to Vegas on Tuesday December 15th, 2015. When can one have the opportunity to meet 15 politicians at one time. Yes, the republican debate was happening in Vegas. Luckily by winning at poker I was moved into the VIP section of the hotel and got invited to see part of the debate. Why just part, not to get to political but the debate reminded of a KKK meeting and a quote from Mark Twin. "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime." I think a few of the candidates in the debate need to travel more. I was getting sick watching the debate so I decided to leave.

Third bird killed, saw the Donald!

I forgot to mention Chuata, Nami also joined me on the trip. All for the same reasons, though Nami is
working on 2,000,000 base miles.

In all the times we have been to Las Vegas we had never visited the Carroll Shelby Manufacturing center and Museum. This is where both Mustang Shelby's and Ford 150 Raptures are converted into true Shelby machines. Also there is a complete history of the evolution of the Shelby. Well worth seeing.
Next stop Tuscon!!!




Sunday, December 13, 2015

Skiing Colorado December 2015

Pictures and Video at the bottom!

Traveling the world has a few perks, one of those perks, you get to me important people, at least important to me. Like Wilson R. Catz, you do not know who Wilson Catz is? He is the son of Mr. Catz the CEO of Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts, happens to own Breckenridge Ski Resorts, more on that

I had not planned on skiing this year. I was down on skiing, only made it out once last year and the snow was not great. That all changed, Colorado was getting record snow fall for this early in the season, early December. Gary Nolan had never been skiing out west, and now had the life of leisure it was time for him to start learning what it is like to do NOTHING, all day. Big Ed is a recent member of the homeless and I always like to do some charity work, so why not help Big Ed get a roof over his head for a few days.

We decided to stay at my brother's and sister in-law's place for this trip, the price is right, plus we got to attended fat camp everyday before skiing.

I called in a favor, I had meet Wilson while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, he was heading down, I was heading up. We talked about our hobbies which included skiing, he said if I was every at a Vail owned resort give him a buzz and he would get us free lift tickets. Lift tickets are $128 a piece for Breckenridge, which made this favor worth about $384.00.

True to his word when we arrived at Breckenridge, not only did we get lift tickets we had concierge ski bunnies. This was a service I had never heard of, on our arrival they gave us each a walky-talky, they told us if we needed anything, just call and a concierge ski bunny would take care of it. We found this hard to believe, so after our first run we got on the radio and asked if we could get some hot chocolate. Guess what, when we got to the top of the lift there were three ski bunnies each with a piping hot mug of hot
chocolate, whip cream and all. Ski Bunnies aside, the conditions were great and we had a blast. Gary did not want to leave, not sure if it was the ski bunnies or the ski slopes, we had to explained the lifts were closed, the only way to ski was to hike the mountain, and the ski bunnies were off the clock, thus no longer had any interest in us.

When we got back to the house Sue had dinner already for us. I am not sure which tired us out more fat camp training or skiing, but after dinner we all hit the sack as fat camp would be starting at 5:00 AM.

After fat camp and some breakfast we headed out to ski Copper Mountain, there would be no free lift tickets or ski bunnies, but we heard the conditions on Copper were even better than Breckenridge. The rumors were true another great day of skiing. This time Gary left with us voluntarily, I think he was starting to realize skiing Colorado requires pacing yourself, compared to east coast skiing.

Dinner tonight was at Revival Brews in downtown Evergreen, the food was great and so was the assortment of beers.

Today would be our last day of both Fat Camp and Skiing, 5:00 AM role call. We decided to ski
Winter Park to give Gary his third ski resort in as many days. Winter Park was rumored to have the most snow. We started out skiing the Mary Jane section of the mountain and were very disappointed. Not much snow and plenty of ice. After a few frustrating run we headed to the North side of the mountain and found some great runs. What a way to end a great three day ski trip, and did I mention most of the time we had the entire resorts to ourselves. Ski Tuesday - Thursday, early December, great condition and the entire resort to yourselves. What else could you want!

Next week on to Las Vegas for the next Republican Presidential debate.